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Texans Can’t Lose Power For Nonpayment, Orders Utilities Commission

By Eric Quintanar

Feb 21, 2021

The Public Utilities Commission of Texas will stop utilities from cutting off customers from the power supply, even if they don’t pay their electricity bill, in response to the sky-high electricity rates that some Texans have reported amidst the recent winter weather event.

At a meeting on Sunday evening, the Public Utilities Commission of Texas passed emergency orders that prohibit investor-owned utility companies from cutting off power access to customers for not paying their electricity bills. The state’s utility commission also “urged retail electric providers to delay invoicing for residential and small commercial electricity customers, including invoices with estimated meter reads.”

“Our absolute top priority as a commission and a state is protecting electricity customers from the devastating effects of a storm that already affected their delivery of power,” said PUC Chairman DeAnn Walker in a statement. “The order and directives are intended to be temporary, likely through the end of this week, to address the potential financial impacts that are especially challenging during this extremely difficult time.”

Governor Greg Abbott said Saturday that Texas had a responsibility to protect residents from energy bill spikes that resulted from the recent sub-freezing temperatures, which led to a massive power shortage across the states last week.

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